Big companies like IceCasino are doing their part to make the world a better place by using less coal-powered electricity. One industry that attempts to do the same is electric cars. However, many people do not realize that electric vehicles, or EVs, are not as faultless as the manufacturers purport them to be.
Electric vehicles also harm the environment. Today, we will show you some ugly truths about EVs — these are not reasons to stop supporting them, but only an eye-opener on what the automotive industry can do to make their cars eco-friendlier.
The Issue with the Batteries
Electric cars use batteries to run, and the process of making batteries for electric cars is not all that green. Generally, the batteries are made of lithium, cobalt, and manganese. The production of these components requires a lot of processes that emit carbon dioxide.
According to studies, 1kWh of battery capacity results in the release of about 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide. As such, it is not that environmentally friendly at all.
The same thing goes with the recycling process of these batteries when they die. A lot of attention is not being put on the recycling process. According to Greenpeace, about 13 million tons of nickel-ion batteries will be depleted by 2030.
The good news is that these batteries can be recycled. Most of the components of the batteries can be used for something else. Tesla, for one, said that its batteries do not go to a landfill. Instead, they recycle up to 92% of their batteries.
Used batteries that have reached their end-of-life are collected. The batteries are then broken down into smaller pieces, and the recycling companies reuse the small pieces or refurbish them. If they can still power EVs, then they go to EV battery manufacturing plants.
Batteries that are no longer optimal for EVs go into another plant, which makes stationary batteries. These are batteries that do not move, such as batteries for solar panels.
Carbon Footprint of EVs
Electric cars are not 100% eco-friendly. However, their carbon footprint is still 81% lesser than gas-powered vehicles. Then, there is such a thing as carbon debt.
Since EV production has carbon emissions, the car must be used to balance this out. As such, it is widely encouraged that EV owners use their cars often. The more distance traveled means more carbon emissions saved from the travel, which paid off this carbon debt when the car was manufactured.
Despite all the pundits’ claims, electric vehicles have lower emissions in their lifetime compared to gasoline-powered cars.
Power Source of Electric Cars
People who own EVs need to charge these cars. The problem with charging is that the electric sockets of many houses get electricity from coal plants.
As such, these cars are drawing power from coal-powered plants. The result is that coal-powered plants need to burn more coal and emit more carbon dioxide into the air.
The solution is to shift to a renewable source of energy. One thing that Tesla is doing now is building many solar farms. These are acres upon acres of land where they put up solar panels to draw power from the sun.
The power generated in these solar plants gets distributed to networks of Tesla charging stations. Car owners can go to these stations and charge, but it is not free. Typically, charging at a Tesla station costs 26 cents per kWh. Another shift must come from the government. It is high time for countries to shift to nuclear power.
In essence, electric cars are great if the power source is nuclear, not coal. If coal is the main power source of the country is coal, EVs do not make sense. In fact, an electric car produces 3.6 times more soot than gasoline-powered ones if the source is coal.
Are EVs Bad?
No, not really. They are somewhat bad if the EV derives power from a coal-powered plant. If the EV gets power from solar, nuclear, or any renewable energy source, it is good for the environment.
Now, even if the car is getting power from a coal plant, it does not really mean that it is altogether useless. For one, since it has no carbon emissions, it does not pollute the city or the streets. It is true. However, the carbon emission from the coal plant goes to the environment and causes global warming.
In addition, when EVs use coal power, they cause 86% more deaths from air pollution than gas-powered cars.
Nevertheless, we all have to start somewhere. EVs are the beginning, and they will certainly be the stepping stone for pushing governments to use renewable sources of energy, particularly nuclear power.
Overall, the key to sustainability is for governments to push for renewable energy sources. EVs are the future of cars, and there is no escaping from it.